Monday, March 29, 2010

Are They Or Aren’t They?

Following up on this story, the United States has charged nine members of the Michigan militia group on a variety of charges.

Nine members of a Michigan-based Christian militia group have been indicted on sedition and weapons charges in connection with an alleged plot to murder law enforcement officers in hopes of setting off an anti-government uprising.

In court filings unsealed Monday, the Justice Department accused the nine people of planning to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer, then plant improvised explosive devices of a type used by insurgents in Iraq to attack the funeral procession.

Eight of the defendants were arrested over the weekend in raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. A ninth remained at large, the Justice Department said. The indictments against them were returned last Tuesday. The defendants were identified as members of Hutaree, described by federal prosecutors as an anti-government extremist organization based in Lenawee County, Michigan, and which advocates violence against local, state and federal law enforcement. The group saw local and state police as “foot soldiers” for the federal government, which it viewed as its enemy, along with participants in what they deemed to be a “New World Order,” according to the indictment.

“This is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society,” Andrew Arena, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge in Detroit, said in a statement. “The F.B.I. takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.”

A law enforcement official said that the alleged plot was unconnected to recent threats against Democratic members of Congress who voted for legislation overhauling the nation’s health care system.

A Web site for the Hutaree group talks about a coming battle against the putative forces of the Antichrist and hosts an “evil Jew Forum,” but does not appear to focus explicitly on recent political events.

So, when the FBI arrested the members of the Hutaree group and presumably read them their Miranda rights, did the right wing howl that they’re being treated like “criminals” instead of the terrorists that they are? Are they going to object to them being tried in civilian courts and will they demand that they be shipped off to a military tribunal where they can’t use the justice system as a soapbox for their hate-filled rhetoric?

Or because they’re white Christians, will the right wingers defend them as God-fearing Americans exercising their 2nd amendment rights?

You make the call.